Halloween is a fun celebration for your family and friends, but can be a stressful day for your dog or cat. Here are some precautions to ensure your pet stays safe during the festivities:
If you have trick-or-treaters at your home, secure your pet in a room away from the entrance way. Doorbells can be very disturbing and your pet may be frightened by the strangers in scary costumes. Also, ensure your pet is wearing identity tags, a collar or ideally have a microchip with current contact information, in case your pet tries to slip through the open front door.
Keep all Halloween treats away from your furry friends. Chocolate, lollipops, raisins, candy, and gum containing xylitol are harmful and cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, and serious health complications, including hypoglycemia, seizures and liver failure. Dark chocolate, in particular, can be extremely toxic. If your dog or cat ingests chocolate or xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately.
Make sure all candy is stored in pet-proof containers and never leave loose candy on kitchen counter tops. Don’t leave candy wrappers laying around because they can cause intestinal blockage if eaten.
If you decorate your home, a lit candle may look beautiful but it is a fire hazard should your dog or cat knock it over, so place decorations in a secure location. Also, select decorations without flashing lights or sounds, which will be less frightening for pets.
If your dog enjoys wearing a costume, make sure it is comfortable, fits correctly and doesn’t restrict breathing, vision, hearing or movement. Select a costume without tassels, buttons or accessories that can be chewed and eaten, and always supervise your pet while he’s wearing his costume. Purchase the costume in advance so your pet can get accustomed to wearing the outfit. A nice alternative to a full costume is a simple Halloween-themed collar, bandanna, harness, leash or sweater.
Finally, if you attend a costume party in a park or dog run, always check your dog’s harness or collar to ensure it is fastened securely. Happy Halloween!